We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Borrowers

The Borrowers


by Mary Norton

The Borrowers Chapter 19 Summary

  • "And that," says Mrs. May "is really the end" (19.1).
  • What? The end of the story? No way! It can't end that way.
  • Can it?
  • Well, sort of.
  • Mrs. May explains to Kate that "stories never really end. They can go on and on and on. It's just that sometimes, at a certain point, one stops telling them" (19.15).
  • Together, they finish the story by imagining how the policeman who comes the next day doesn't believe Mrs. Driver (it turns out the policeman is a young man named Ernie, who used to be bullied by Mrs. Driver in his youth).
  • He merely thinks she took a few too many sips from Great-Aunt Sophy's bottle of Madeira wine and was just imagining the little people.
  • It does sound kind of crazy when you think about it, doesn't it?
  • Mrs. Driver then gets a cat, but the cat "borrows" fish and bowls of egg sauce, instead of eating the borrowers. They have to get a dog to chase out the cat.
  • The mean old lady doesn't give up, though. She hires a rat-catcher named Rich William, a dangerous man also known as "the pig-killer" who has a "gun, a hatchet, a spade, a pickax, and a contraption with bellows for smoking things out" (19.41).
  • Uh-oh. Have the borrowers met their match?
  • Hardly. When Rich William tries to smoke the borrowers out using poisoned fumes, the boy escapes from his room, grabs a pickax, and bravely knocks a hole in the grating to give the borrowers some breathing room.
  • But are they safe and unharmed?

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...